More than a million workers in the UK are exposed to levels of noise that put their hearing at risk, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which has published a range of interactive resources to help raise awareness of the dangers.
Audio and video simulations have been published on the HSE website, which enable users to hear and see the effects of excessive noise exposure on hearing over time.
The audio clip (available at: www.hse.gov.uk/noise/demonstration.htm) demonstrates noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), which is irreversible damage to the ears caused by exposure to high levels of noise. The recording reveals how hearing is gradually lost over a working life.
Meanwhile, The Hearing Video (available at: www.hse.gov.uk/noise/video/hearingvideo.htm), which was produced by Canadian organisation WorkSafeBC, uses a TV science programme-style to show how hearing works, how hearing loss occurs and also how to choose and use the right hearing protection.
The effects of noise in the workplace are also demonstrated in a video animation starring health and safety mascot, Napo. The video (available at: www.hse.gov.uk/noise/video/tell-index.htm) uses humour to bring home the message that once deafness occurs, it cannot be cured.
HSE is once again running its Ladder Exchange initiative, from 1st September – 30th November this year.
The concept behind the Ladder Exchange is that workers who have a broken or damaged ladder can exchange it for a new one at a discounted price at a range of retail outlets. Since its launch, nearly 7,000 dodgy ladders have been removed from use.
To find out which companies are participating in the initiative, or to download campaign materials and find out more about using ladders safely, visit the Ladder Exchange website: www.hse.gov.uk/falls/ladderexchange.htm
A third of young workers do not trust their employers, according to a survey.
The poll of 1,000 employees aged between 16 and 24 found that 33% did not believe what their employers said. This represents a significant rise on last year’s survey, when one in five young workers felt they could not trust their bosses.
Employees working in human resources agencies were most likely to believe their employers, according to the poll, while employees in legal professions were the most cynical about their bosses.
Guy Emmerson, associate director of recruitment consultant firm Badenoch & Clark, which carried out the survey, said: "Without a culture of trust in the workplace, employers will struggle to foster employee engagement and in turn retain their workforce.
"As recruitment activity levels pick up, employers need to consider the strength of their relationship with employees across all levels of the business, or run the risk of staff voting with their feet.
"Younger employees - the so-called Generation Y - have specific expectations of their employers, so encouraging more two-way conversations on business performance will prove vital to increasing levels of trust and gauging job satisfaction.”
A man paralysed by an accident at work has set a new world record for most high-fives in 24 hours, as part of a campaign to increase young workers' understanding of their rights.
29-year-old Canadian Josh Dueck gave a record-breaking 9,307 high-fives during a 24-hour period. He undertook the challenge to raise awareness of WorkSafeBC's Raise Your Hand campaign, which aims to educate young workers about their legal rights to work safely and encourage them to refuse to do work that they feel is unsafe.
Josh was paralysed from the waist down in a workplace accident at the age of 23. Since then, he has become a world-champion para-alpine skier and won a silver medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. He said: “I’m competitive and love a good challenge, but this was more important than breaking a record. I did it to bring attention to young worker safety, and that’s something I’m stoked about.”
Find out more about the campaign at: www.raiseyourhand.com
15 people died and 234 suffered major injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning last year. HSE is warning all young people who live in rented accommodation to be aware of the risks and keep themselves safe.
As part of the ongoing Will you wake up? campaign HSE has issued advice to young people, their parents and landlords on the dangers of carbon monoxide; a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that can build up if gas appliances and flues have not been properly installed, maintained or are poorly ventilated.
Landlords are legally obliged to have any gas appliance regularly maintained by a Gas Safe Register engineer and issue you with a copy of the gas safety record following the annual safety check. If they fail to do this, you should contact HSE.
You can also help protect yourself by installing an audible carbon monoxide alarm but this should only be used as a back-up precaution and not as an alternative to regular checks by a Gas Safe Register engineer.
Resources, including a poster, flyer, and leaflets on landlords’ duties and how to stay safe, are available at: www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/student.htm
To find a gas engineer or check that your gas engineer is registered, visit: www.gassaferegister.co.uk
The information on accidents and prosecutions featured in this section comes from a number of different sources including the Health and Safety Executive and regional and national newspapers.
“Young people have been the biggest victims of the recession. We are committed to helping them get into work and realise their ambitions. Internships can contribute to this, but the exploitation of interns is unacceptable and employment legislation must not be breached."
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science